Identity theft is rising at an alarming rate and last year alone it accounted for around $5 billion in losses for individuals. It might feel like there’s nothing we can do to protect ourselves, but thankfully there are companies like LifeLock that help protect our identity without us having to do more than pay a monthly subscription fee. The services and prices vary, but here is a review of LifeLock Standard to determine if it’s worth $9.99 per month.
LifeLock has been in business since 2005 and has been helping to protect identities for over a decade. In 2010, the company even won the International Stevie Award thanks to its work with the FBI. There are four service levels available (three for adults, one for minors), but today we’ll be doing an in-depth review of the lowest tier option available, Lifelock Standard™.
- Very Cheap: One of the best things about LifeLock Standard is that it is extremely inexpensive. It’s easy to pay $9.99 per month or $109.89 annually -- which is around the same price as most states’ average electricity bill for one month. It’s a small price to pay to help protect your identity from criminals.
- 24/7 Support: No one wants to wait until morning to tell their identity protection service their wallet was stolen, or they suspect they’re a victim of identity theft. LifeLock as excellent customer service with a near-five-star rating that is available anytime you need them.
- Public Record Monitoring: For the basic tier, you still get complete public record monitoring (with the exception of court record scanning, which is only available with Advantage or Ultimate Plus). Your social security number, driver’s license, public record, full name, phone, and street address are all monitored* by LifeLock. If someone uses this information, you’ll be notified**.
- Reimbursement and Service Guarantee: Most companies only offer an insurance guarantee to help you get your identity back, but only LifeLock offers both a service guarantee and a reimbursement amount. You’ll get the $1 Million Service Guarantee protection plus another $25,000 to cover any funds lost due to identity theft.***
- Reduction in Pre-Approved Offers: Pre-approved credit card offers are one of the easiest ways for a thief to steal your identity. All they have to do is take the application from your trash or recycling bin and fill it out. Once they send it in, they can get a credit card in your name. LifeLock reduces the amount of offers you receive through the mail.
LifeLock Standard is one of the cheapest options for identity protection on the market at $9.99 monthly or $109.89 per year. For less than $10 a month, you receive a myriad of services that are designed to help protect your information. Subscribers also have access to a $1 Million Service Guarantee and $25,000 fund reimbursement***, which can take a headache out of recovering your identity once it’s stolen. Finally, the quality of customer support is a highlight for the company. With a near-five-star rating with Consumer Affairs, the company clearly holds up on its promise to offer you quality support any time you need it.
- No Computer Protection: Protecting your computer is essential to keeping your identity safe. A keylogger can take your information and use what you’ve typed to apply for accounts in your name. The lack of computer protection from LifeLock is a con.
- No Bank Account Alerts: If fraudulent charges are added to your bank account, you should be the first to know. Unfortunately, LifeLock Standard doesn’t let you know if something is going on with your bank account. Additionally, the Standard plan does not offer bank account application alerts either.
- No Credit Monitoring: The first sign a criminal has obtained your identity is a sudden drop in your credit score or a fraudulent account on your credit report. LifeLock doesn’t offer credit score or report monitoring with its Standard package, which can be dangerous to the consumer.
- No Credit Inquiry Alerts: When you apply for a loan, utility, or a bank account, your credit is reviewed. This credit inquiry goes on your credit report and can negatively impact you. LifeLock Standard doesn’t alert you if there has been a credit inquiry alert on your account.
- Lawsuit in 2015 (Resolved): In 2015, LifeLock was involved in a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission involving deceptive advertising. In December 2015, LifeLock settled for $100 million. This lawsuit caused temporary damage to the reputation of the company.
Of course, it may be difficult to ignore the 2015 lawsuit; however, LifeLock has learned its lesson and has vowed to offer quality service to each of their customers. It’s a little disappointing that LifeLock Standard doesn’t offer any computer protection or credit monitoring services. These features are crucial to protecting someone’s personal identity. Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself through free software or with the three major credit reporting bureaus. Unfortunately, having to subscribe to each of these companies may become pricey.
Overall, for $9.99, LifeLock Standard seems to do a great job at helping to protect your identity at such a low cost. Social security numbers are a huge target for thieves, and yours is closely monitored by LifeLock to help protect your identity. Additionally, you can feel safe knowing that your personal information is being monitored. The reduction in pre-approved credit card offers is also a huge plus since it’s easy for a criminal to take advantage and get a credit card in your name. LifeLock is clearly looking out for their clients in more ways than one.
As far as the bad aspects go, most of them are easily solved. The lawsuit damaged the reputation of the company, but even Forbes reports on the subject by saying, “LifeLock appears to have learned its lesson from the FTC settlement, and is poised to build upon its current base of members.” Bank account activity alerts can be monitored using your bank's online app and if fraudulent charges appear, your bank should also alert you. Finally, there are plenty of free software you can download to protect your PC from criminals. Ultimately, the worst part of LifeLock Standard is that it offers no credit protection, but if this feature is important to you, you can upgrade to LifeLock Advantage for $19.99 or LifeLock Ultimate Plus for $29.99. Both of these services offer credit protection.
For less than $10 per month, it is easy for anyone to say that LifeLock Standard is a great plan for anyone concerned about their identity. You can choose to pay per month or annually, which saves $9.99 per year.
Disclaimer: No one can prevent all identity theft.
*LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
**Phone alerts made during normal local business hours.
***Stolen Funds Reimbursement benefits and Service Guarantee benefits for State of New York members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by State National Insurance Company. Benefits for all other members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by United Specialty Insurance Company. Under the Stolen Funds Reimbursement, LifeLock will reimburse stolen funds up to $25,000 for Standard membership, up to $100,000 for advantage membership and up to $1 million for Ultimate Plus membership. Under the Service Guarantee LifeLock will spend up to $1 Million to hire experts to help your recovery. Please see the policy for terms, conditions and exclusions at LifeLock.com/legal.